Arizona citizens now have a new tool for gaining up-to-date information in times of statewide emergency or disaster. By dialing 2-1-1, the public can connect with a live operator in the event of a large-scale wildland fire. Utilizing the robust database and emergency bulletin system in Arizona 2-1-1 Online, operators at 2-1-1 call centers will inform the public regarding fire status updates, shelter locations, road closures and how to help fire victims.

"The 2-1-1 Call Center will be a critical component of effective disaster response," said Cathy Tisdale, CEO of the Red Cross. "Having live operators available for fire season is an absolutely essential step in the development of 2-1-1."

The 2-1-1 call center can be initiated on two hours notice during State Emergency Operation Center activation, and will be managed by trained reservists and volunteers. During non-emergency times people who dial 2-1-1 will hear recorded messages regarding fire season emergency preparedness.